Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

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Amconk
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Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by Amconk » Wed May 20, 2020 6:15 pm

I’ll start. I played tenor starting in the fourth grade, and up through 9th grade. My high school needed a bass bone for the jazz bone, so they gave me a 5B silversonic to play. I played bass mainly until college, where I played principal trombone in the university symphonic band, and doubled on lead/bass in the jazz band. When Stan Mark retired to Southern Oregon in the early 2000s, he put together a big band from the community in which we played some fun paid gigs. He hired me for the bass bone. That was my only “professional” trombone experience. Through Stan I got to meet Maynard Ferguson. Nowadays I’ve gone back to school to get a psychology degree and I found I was a few terms of private lessons shy of getting a music minor, so I’m back on the horn. I’ve been playing mostly tenor but recently have been warming up to bass again. Hoping to find a community ensemble to play in again! So I guess I’d consider myself a doubler.
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by bigbandbone » Wed May 20, 2020 6:38 pm

Started out playing tenor. Blew my chops out in 1976 while living and working in Lost Wages. Took 40+ years off. Then came back a couple of years ago on bass.
Wish I would of discovered bass tbone in college!
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by Thrawn22 » Wed May 20, 2020 6:56 pm

I was a drummer in Jr. High till my brother said i had no chance of making drumline and he didn't want me to play trumpet. I learned trombone the summer of my freshman year and taught myself baritone and tuba at that point. I played tuba my sophomore year and bassone my junior year.

20+ years later and after a 5 year hiatus I'm back to playing bone. I play principal in a community orchestra, play lead in a local bigband, play bassbone in another, sub one of the 4 trombone chairs in yet another bigband,
principal in a brass ensemble and the occasional trombone quartet rehearsal. I want to do more but the plague and the curse of children interferes with that plan somewhat.

So whats the purpose of this thread?
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by LeoInFL » Wed May 20, 2020 7:02 pm

I started playing trombone the summer before my freshman yr of high school. Loved it and played constantly in all the HS groups (marching & jazz band, symphony). Fortunate to make 1st chair all-region/1st alternate to all-state (on a Conn 18H Director) my junior yr. I realized during my time at all-state (sitting around. being 1st alt I was 'required' to attend just in case someone didn't show) that everyone was so much better than me therefore a music career was not in my future.

Gave up trombone my sr year to play varsity basketball and tennis. Didn't play in college while pursuing an electrical engineering degree. Didn't start playing again until I bought my house in 2002. It was about that time I bought my 1st F-attachment horn (a King 3BF). I bought my 1st bass around 2014. So from 2002 until 2016, when I found the community orchestra that I'm still a part of today, my playing consisted of living room practicing in front of my kids.

With CFC Arts, I bounce from 1st to 2nd to bass, depending on the need and I've gotten performance opportunities that I've truly cherished (Bydlo solo in 'Pictures', solo in 'Hoe Down', pit work with the Ballet). I enjoy playing tenor and bass equally, but my 'forte' is tenor.
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by Amconk » Wed May 20, 2020 7:08 pm

Thrawn22 wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 6:56 pm
So whats the purpose of this thread?
The purpose of this thread is that I’m stuck in a small house with 4 young children who are forcefully being homeschooled because of Covid19 and a wife who is “essential” so she’s stuck working 12 hour shifts. Chatting with fellow trombone players online is about all the adult human interaction I get these days. And I was genuinely curious what drove others to choose tenor or bass or both.
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by HawaiiTromboneGuy » Wed May 20, 2020 7:11 pm

Both. Tenor in community band and bass in jazz/big band.
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by walldaja » Wed May 20, 2020 7:12 pm

Play tenor and double on cornet, flug, and trumpet. Played my bass with a Christmas orchestra, we played 1st, 2nd, and bass on all bass trombones. Two of the guys normally play bass, I played bass to blend with them better.
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by BGuttman » Wed May 20, 2020 7:25 pm

Most kids start on tenor (and I'm no exception). I was able to play in 6th grade band while in 5th grade because my parents bought me a trombone. Played mostly 3rd parts, but on a tenor.

In High School there were two F-attachment instruments: a King Symphony and a Reynolds. I wound up with the King Symphony. I loved playing 3rd trombone. Got my first F-attachment trombone at that time: an Olds Ambassador. I was the only kid in Jazz Band who had a high Bb, so I got to play 1st on all the tunes with high notes, but since I was the kid with the Symphony, I was usually playing 4th.

Stopped playing when I went to a school with no music program (pursuing a Chemical Engineering degree). Didn't really start playing again seriously until I moved here to New Hampshire about 20 years later. At this time I was really into playing bass trombone, so I got my King 7B and was accepted in two community orchestras. Then I branched out to tenor and alto as well as tuba and Euphonium. Now I like to play whatever is needed. I don't specialize much.
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by Mv2541 » Wed May 20, 2020 7:33 pm

I'm a tenor player, but my school has a small studio and no more than one guy on bass at a time (usually 4 or 5 tenors). I learned to double just for fun at first and joked to administration they should let me take a year of bass. They said yes and so I studied with Nick Schwartz for a year (if anyone doesn't know who that is you should change that!). Just like when I studied with Roswell Rudd, I feel like I didn't really 'get it' until much after the lessons ended.

It's really useful having more than one guy who can do it; people get sick and sometimes you need two. We were preparing for performances of Elektra with me on bass and our normal bass player on contra. Also musical books often have tenor and bass (&tuba).
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by cmcslide » Wed May 20, 2020 7:42 pm

I started euphonium in fourth grade and trombone in seventh. I’ve been a tenor player my whole life, but last year I played a production of “La Boheme” with the reduced orchestration, which calls for one bass trombone. I’ve since bought my own Bach 50 and have fun with it!
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by RConrad » Wed May 20, 2020 7:50 pm

I played tenor all the way from middle school til a few years after I graduated high school. Also played on euphonium my junior and senior years for state ensembles. Stopped playing in 2005 went to the Navy and a few years ago I started college. When I transferred to my current university the symphonic band director asked me to come play with them. Started back up on bass and have played tenor for other ensembles. Wouldn't say I double on anything as I don't switch horns for any ensembles between or during pieces. Starting to think about where in Chicago I can play after I finish my Mechanical Engineering degree here in another year or so.
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by Kevbach33 » Wed May 20, 2020 8:39 pm

I started middle school band on tuba (I felt I was one of the taller, stronger kids who could wield it) and picked up trombone for my double in 8th grade. It wasn't until high school that i got to play a bass trombone for the first time. It was my jazz band chair, no challengers. And i stayed with it into college, buying my Besson. Then moves forced me into the workforce, and the playing had to step aside.

It wasn't until last year or so that I really started playing again, and i picked up an Olds ambassador to get me started on tenor trombone, thinking that would earn me more opportunities to play. It paid off, and I later picked up a 6H in pretty good shape. Hopefully after the restrictions of the virus are gone I'll have more chances to play in a concert band, not just jazz. I picked up a Holton 168 for this purpose.

I view myself as a (now) tenor player that can double, but how that will shape up remains to be seen. Tenor/bass doubler? Or small/large tenor doubler with a side of bass?

I would triple, but something magical would have to happen for me to get a tuba. :roll:
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by Burgerbob » Wed May 20, 2020 8:45 pm

Yes.
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by BurckhardtS » Wed May 20, 2020 8:49 pm

I play tenor primarily but I will offer to double on bass and alto, and I think I can do both well. I also can play both jazz and classical, although my improvising is a work in progress.

As for my background, I learned how to read music when I was 6, but then started on clarinet for band, just because one of my friends wanted to play clarinet, and I didn't really care and wasn't really forced into anything. I then switched to trombone when I was 16 because I checked one out for fun, and my band director needed more trombone players. I really liked it, and here I am.

I never try to put a limit on what I can play, other than the time I need to learn it. I've been taught always like to say yes to things, even if it can take me out of my comfort zone. The way I see it, I'm just limiting my work for no real reason if I say I ONLY play tenor or ONLY play bass.
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by Doubler » Wed May 20, 2020 9:22 pm

I primarily play trumpet, flugelhorn, and cornet, and I double on tenor trombone. I started out on alto horn as an entry into French horn, which I played for a short while. I didn't much care for the sound, as I'm drawn to timbre, and trumpet resonates with me like no other instrument. Cornet and flugelhorn also have considerable appeal, and I like the sound of the trombone best of all low brass.

It got to the point where, although I hadn't previously played trombone, I felt compelled to do so. I found it an easy instrument to play, and doing so expanded my comprehension and assimilation of the various clefs. The trombone is a very versatile instrument, as you all know, and I love playing mine. I like the challenge of precise slide position, and I appreciate the opportunity to play every note in perfect pitch without having to bend the notes into submission due to the necessary shortcomings of valved instruments.

To my ear, an ensemble harmonizing the trumpet/trombone combination or just trumpets or trombones is just magnificent.
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by sirisobhakya » Wed May 20, 2020 9:54 pm

I started with a tenor in 6th grade in 2001 as 1st trombone. But I have always been fascinated with “the pipes” of tenorbass and especially bass trombone, since my school band had (and still has) Bach 42B and 50B3 traditional wrap. I held 1st chair until I had to change school after 9th grade, but along the way I (secretly) experimented with mouthpieces, and found that I like an old 1 1/2 G lying around. I thought it was just a large tenor mouthpiece... Anyway, that is the first glimpse of bass trombone playing for me.

After I changed school, I still came back regularly, partially because I didn’t want to move to the new school. But at that time the only vacant horn was the 50B3 (the senior who used it had already graduated). So I used that every time I came back, until I stopped around 11th grade. I played large bore tenor when I was an exchange student in Germany during 12th grade, and played for only 1-2 months as a bass trombone in university band. After I quit the band, 8-years hiatus followed.

But even so, I had already descended down the dark path of bass trombone, and had no desire climbing back up. When I bought my own horn for the first time back in 2016, I specifically bought a bass. Only much later that I acquired my own tenorbass.
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by Kingfan » Wed May 20, 2020 10:46 pm

Started on small bore tenor in elementary school. Picked up a large bore tenor in high school, King 4B-F, loved it, still have it. Played the school's Conn 72H bass in jazz band for a year as sophomore, loved it too. Sr. year I sat between the lead and bass tbones in jazz band with the 4B and doubled whichever part needed it. Around age 30 found a battered Holton TR-180 bass, and from then on played it or the large bore depending on what the bands/
orchestras I was playing in needed. Picked up a King 3B-F about ten years ago when I got asked to play the French horn part in a brass quintet so I could hit the high notes better and ended up as lead in a big band with it too. Those ensembles and I parted company, unfortunately. I started playing the 3B in a community band last year and decided to switch to bass after I sold the Holton and got a King 7B bass, while still playing the 3B on lead in another big band I have two other straight small bores in reserve, but my favorite horns to play right now are the 7B, 4B-F, 3B-F in that order. I guess I am lucky in that I can switch horns at will with minimal problems. Why the 7B as primary? I love the tone and the response. I can make it sound like a large bore tenor if I want to or a growling bass, depending on the music and my mood. That, and the community band doesn't have very challenging music and trying to play the bassoon part on a bass trombone is more of a stretch than playing first on a tenor.
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are still missing! :D
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by Hobart » Wed May 20, 2020 11:05 pm

I play both bass and tenor, though it's a bit of a ride.
I started on a Yamaha Advantage in 5th grade, and got a large bore Yamaha Allegro in 8th. Freshman year I picked up the school's bass trombone (an older Jupiter) for jazz band while playing tenor in the concert band, but was moved to bass trombone in the honors' jazz band and the symphonic band for sophomore year onwards.
During this time, I played third trombone in community band with my large tenor, made all-state band on tenor trombone, and started "collecting" trombones and other brass instruments, from eBay, Craigslist, and surplus sales my band director had.
I ended up getting four and a half more trombones between freshman year and senior year, and the school got a used Holton TR-181 to replace the Jupiter, which was literally falling apart while being cleaned.
Now that I graduated and the school took their Holton bass trombone back, I'm either gonna end up playing tenor trombone or baritone in college, unless I find a bass trombone on the cheap.
I like playing both bass and tenor, though, and an opportunity to play is an opportunity to play.
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by Finetales » Wed May 20, 2020 11:27 pm

Burgerbob wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 8:45 pm
Yes.
^
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by LeTromboniste » Wed May 20, 2020 11:35 pm

Burgerbob wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 8:45 pm
Yes.
:lol:
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by bassbone721 » Wed May 20, 2020 11:37 pm

I started on tenor in 10th grade but switched to bass because our school needed a bass and I enjoyed playing bass much more. During quarantine, I've been playing my bass quite a lot but still play my small, large tenor, euphonium, and tuba because I think it's pretty useful to be able to play multiple instruments. I also find certain things on the other instruments help my bass playing. However, as I head off to college (assuming all this is over) I will not be doubling because the school of music is huge. There are 17 basses and something like 40 tenor, so I probably won't get much time on other instruments.
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by LeTromboniste » Thu May 21, 2020 12:02 am

I started with tenor in grade 7 and through what we in Quebec have between high school and college (called cegep, a bit like community college but mandatory) where I picked up alto as a double. I did that through college where I also picked up bass, mostly because there was no bass player for a couple years when I was there. Strangely, I always considered alto my "natural" double despite having a much easier time playing bass. That's what I spend most time on, and I got a fancy alto, never bought a bass. I meant to play an alto piece in my recital but had to cut it because too much material, but I did play bass because I had to play a Canadian piece and mine was a bass concerto. The only professional symphonic audition I took, I meant to audition for both tenor and bass (there were two openings), but ended up skipping the tenor audition because I didn't feel confident enough. Took the bass audition (despite never having really studied bass seriously or even owning one, I borrowed one for the audition) and actually advanced to the semi round. This should have been a cue that bass is a natural double for me, right?

I went on to do 5 years of grad school in early music, and my teacher recommended I focus on two of the instruments, either tenor and alto or tenor and bass, but discouraged doing all three. I chose......alto... :idk: Only once I moved to the Netherlands and picked up bass sackbut for a school project did I finally realise the obvious, that bass was and had been all along a much more natural and logical double instrument for me. Now ironically in Basel, because I was the only bass player at my school I always played bass in all ensemble sessions, to the point where many of my colleagues didn't even know I play tenor at all :frown: Most of my gigs in Europe are on bass.

I've often wondered why it took me years to realise that bass was really the obvious choice of double. I could have started much earlier and focused more attention on it and have become really solid a lot earlier. I think somehow for me there was always this preconception that tenor players MUST double on alto, and tenor players who double on bass are never "real" bass players, and it took me moving here where it very much doesn't work that way to finally get rid of that preconception.
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by hyperbolica » Thu May 21, 2020 3:51 am

I'm a tenor player, but studied with a bass player for 2 years. In the Navy I picked up a bass for a few months as the need arose in a stage band, but I have always been a tenor player. Bass was an interesting diversion, but I don't enjoy it the way I like tenor.

30 years later I joined a trombone quartet. We tried to democratically share the bass parts, but we all just took turns sucking at the low notes. I decided someone needed to specialize. Since it was my idea, I was elected to have the privilege. So I play bass in the quartet, but mostly as the least objectionable option. I've played bass in other groups, like a big band and a small orchestra, but it doesn't turn my crank. I cover the part, and sometimes I don't sound awful, although I just can't get around on bass like I do on tenor. Lip slurs, long phrases, nice melodies, sweet sound, ornamentation, vibrato - this is all stuff you either can't or don't get asked to do on bass that makes tenor more interesting to me.

Bass to me is very difficult to play musically. Its heavy, requires a lot of air, the partials are so far apart, and the writing for bass is less sophisticated. I still prefer tenor.
Last edited by hyperbolica on Thu May 21, 2020 7:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by andym » Thu May 21, 2020 3:54 am

I’m drawn to the simplicity of the straight trombone and so play tenor. I do have a large bore and medium bore tenors with F and have spent plenty of time playing them. But over the last years I am really drawn to the just the slide.

I’ve played one concert on the bass part in a big band using my large bore with a larger than usual mouthpiece. While I enjoyed communing with the bari sax, dealing with two valves just doesn’t appeal to me. However, to reveal my hypocrisy, I did start on baritone and have performed on euphonium with 4 valves. But that’s just a different instrument.
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by Vegasbound » Thu May 21, 2020 4:46 am

Yes, and euph bass trumpet and tuba.... increases the chance of work!
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by LeTromboniste » Thu May 21, 2020 7:17 am

andym wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 3:54 am
I’m drawn to the simplicity of the straight trombone and so play tenor. I do have a large bore and medium bore tenors with F and have spent plenty of time playing them. But over the last years I am really drawn to the just the slide.
Yes! That's part of why I love playing bass sackbuts. The satisfaction of playing low notes and being able to effect the phrasing of the whole group combined with the elegance and openness of a straight horn.I think it's about time someone starts making straight basses in G or F or D again but with modern bass bore and size, yet without making them into a contra.
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by Vegastokc » Thu May 21, 2020 8:19 am

In high school and college (late 80's/early 90's), we all played straight tenors and small ones at that. Lots of Kings, Conns, Yamahas, etc. The only people who had any type of trigger were the few dedicated bass trombone players and the professors. The first time I even played an F-Attach was when I borrowed a beautiful Yamaha 648R from my university in 1991 to play The Music Man. As the only trombone, I blew my brains out trying to sound like all 76 trombones. :lol:

Played mostly 2nd and 3rd in jazz band, so never even considered bass at that time. Was also afraid of anything with a valve despite all my friends being trumpet players so never learned baritone, tuba, two valve DCI bugles, etc.

Cut to a few years ago and after a 20+ year hiatus, not only did I purchased my first F-attachment, also been messing around on baritone and lately been day dreaming about purchasing a contrabass. :shock:
I know I will struggle to produce enough air volume for a large bore tenor, bass, etc but to answer the OP question "Why?" : Why not!
Never know when the opportunity to use a double may come up. Even if just for fun :good:
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by Finetales » Thu May 21, 2020 9:10 am

bassbone721 wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 11:37 pm
However, as I head off to college (assuming all this is over) I will not be doubling because the school of music is huge. There are 17 basses and something like 40 tenor, so I probably won't get much time on other instruments.
Don't be so sure. I went to a music school that had up to 60 tenor players at any one time and I had countless opportunities to play tenor, euphonium, and other instruments.
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by TimBrown » Thu May 21, 2020 9:52 am

I have migrated from playing my large collection (and growing) of ballads on tenor to bass. Apparently, I am a more natural low bass player than a high tenor player. Sure, even a single-trigger bass is big, heavy and cumbersome to play. My left hand could have a few thousand words to say about it! But overall, it is less work for me to play ballads on low bass and I'm all for more music with less work. Gotta love the sound of a melodiously-played bass trombone!
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by hyperbolica » Thu May 21, 2020 10:08 am

I heard Brian Hecht (bass bone Atlanta symph) give a master class on how he got where he was. He said that in college he was going nowhere as a tenor player, so his teacher convinced him to switch to bass. He was a natural at it even though he was unremarkable on tenor.

Also heard James Markey give the same kind of talk. He was associate principal at NY Phil and moved to bass in Boston.

While it's tempting to make generalizations based on specific cases, that kind of reasoning is usually wrong. I'd like to think that Hecht's experience is more common than Markey's. I think it's clear that people have some sort of direction that they lean. Probably has as much to do with personality as physiology, even though the instruments seem so similar in a lot of ways.
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by whitbey » Thu May 21, 2020 11:36 am

I like my toys.
I play bass, large tenor, small tenor, alto and euph.
Large bore tenor is my favorite sound. Practicing bass improves my air. Toys are fun.
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by dukesboneman » Thu May 21, 2020 1:41 pm

I`ve been primarily a Tenor Trombone player for most of my adult musical life. Mostly small bore horns.
However in 1990 I had in Howard Johnson as a guest soloist and my musical world changed forever. TUBA.
Over the course of years I`ve played Alto, Tenor (Large, Medium and small bores) Bass Trombone, Euphonium, BBb and Eb Tuba, Bass Trumpet, Alto Flugelhorn and Flute.
They have served me well over the years, especially now (well not right now) in retirement as I can be ready for what ever situation the gig calls for, and they come all over the map instrument -wise. And it`s kind of fun to get the call because they know you have the horn needed and can play it.
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by thatme » Thu May 21, 2020 2:28 pm

I was mostly a tuba player until a few years ago, up until I decided I really loved the sound of the bass trombone. I bought a bass and have been working on it ever since. I recently bought a tenor because there was a tenor spot open in a community band I wanted to play in, but the bass spots were full. Between tuba, bass, and tenor, I really like playing bass - it’s in that perfect sweet spot between all three. But as an amateur, it’s nice to have several horns and be able to get around on all three - opens up more opportunities that way!
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Bloo
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by Bloo » Thu May 21, 2020 2:44 pm

I play a small bore tenor which is my primary instrument, but I'm currently playing trumpet with my jazz ensemble. I started playing in 6th grade, but during my 7th grade year, my trombone broke and took 6 MONTHS at the shop (the handslide broke off with the receiver in my bell still attached). The only spare instrument my director had was a trumpet, so I learned that. I've doubled on both since, but I still feel more at home with a trombone in my hand.
I'm partial to vintage Conn horns, and new Getzens.
MrHCinDE
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by MrHCinDE » Fri May 22, 2020 5:18 pm

I‘ve enjoyed reading all the posts here, so many different paths to playing the trombone.

I play tenor and bass along with alto, euphonium and tuba. The reason why is quite convoluted. I started on euphonium in primary school because there was one in the store cupboard in decent condition, the trombones were awful. After a while, I picked up tuba as a double around the age of 12. I‘d been to see a symphony orchestra concert on a school trip and wanted to play in such a group, at the time my teacher recommend tuba would be my best bet.

A couple of years later I felt the pull towards big band music and decided to learn the tenor trombone. I‘d been playing tuba in the county youth orchestra and since there was a superb (much better than me) player on 1st trombone and I had decent low and slow air from the tuba playing, I borrowed a bass trombone and played that in symphony orchestra. At that time I was playing euphonium in youth brass band, tenor trombone in the school big band, bass trombone in the county youth orchestra and BBb tuba in a championship section brass band.

With hindsight maybe that was too much for a developing player and I probably cut a few corners which I‘ve had to correct in later life. On the other hand, I went on band tours to three continents before the age of 16 and had a great time doing it.

When I went to uni to study electrical engineering I carried on with euphonium and tenor trombone but dropped bass trombone and tuba. Since then I‘ve been cycling round tenor/bass/euph and tuba as I‘ve moved round with my day job a few times and just fit in whatever groups I could find on whatever part was free.

In the past couple of years I‘ve been a bit more settled and therefore more selective about what I want to play, as well as learning alto.

So overall, what drove me to learn the various instruments was the groups I wanted to play in and the variety of music I wanted to play. It has more to due with circumstances and opportunities than any real plan but if I had to choose just one part to play it would be solo euphonium in a brass band any day of the week.
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by StevenC » Fri May 22, 2020 5:27 pm

Like most players of my generation, I grew up playing a small bore tenor. Years later, when I started playing again, I started on a small bore, but while shopping for an instrument, realized a .547 facilitated the sound I wanted. A few years later, I found myself playing 4th in big bands, and a bass helped add heft to the sound. An ability to play both tenor and bass increases ones opportunities, and sometimes bass gets more interesting parts.
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deanmccarty
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by deanmccarty » Fri May 22, 2020 9:14 pm

I started on tenor in 7th grade. My first year in high school our jazz band went to a jazz festival and we saw the Toshiko Akiyoshi big band. Bill Reichenbach on lead and Phil Teele on bass... Phil blew me away... I started learning bass... stayed playing bass in wind ensemble and the top jazz band, and kept my tenor chops up in our second jazz band. My senior year I decided to start playing tuba for wind ensemble and marching band. Still played tenor and bass in the jazz bands. In college I played tenor, bass, euphonium, and tuba.

Since leaving the world of school and university bands, I have played all low brass, trumpet, and flugelhorn in studio sessions. I also play quite a bit of percussion, and set sometimes. I have limited myself in the studio scene and mostly play the small tenor and bass. I play tuba in a brass quintet. I have a big collection from when I used to play full time... I still try to play everything at least once a week. Today, for example, was flugelhorn day for me.

“Why?” was your question... to be honest, I ask myself that sometimes... but, music is part of my life. There’s a void when it’s not there. When I played full time for a living there were more days that I didn’t enjoy it... that’s a big reason why I stopped playing full time... I didn’t want to lose the joy. For every one “out of this world” gig, there were many duds... or, the endless road trips in the middle of nowhere... I just needed a home base. Now... I do session work when I want to, and freelance as much as my schedule allows. But... the important thing is that I enjoy it still.
Dean McCarty
Houston area freelancer

“Have a good time... all the time.” - Viv Savage, Spinal Tap :cool:
Thrawn22
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by Thrawn22 » Fri May 22, 2020 11:42 pm

Amconk wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 7:08 pm
Thrawn22 wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 6:56 pm
So whats the purpose of this thread?
The purpose of this thread is that I’m stuck in a small house with 4 young children who are forcefully being homeschooled because of Covid19 and a wife who is “essential” so she’s stuck working 12 hour shifts. Chatting with fellow trombone players online is about all the adult human interaction I get these days. And I was genuinely curious what drove others to choose tenor or bass or both.
Trombone players aren't adults.
Amconk
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by Amconk » Sat May 23, 2020 4:23 am

Thrawn22 wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 11:42 pm
Trombone players aren't adults.
Touché.
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by whitbey » Sat May 23, 2020 7:03 am

When I was young I told my Grandma that when I grow up I wanted to play trombone. She told me I couldn’t do both.
Edwards Sterling bell 525/547
Edwards brass bell 547/562
Edwards Jazz w/ Ab valve 500"/.508"
Conn 34H Alto
Bass Bach 50 Bb/F/C dependent.
Cerveny oval euphonium
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dershem
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by dershem » Sat May 23, 2020 9:16 am

yes.
Started out on trumpet at age 10. Also had a massive influence in my life who played everything brass, so I thought that was normal and not difficult. Got to college and the first day of jazz band there were not trombones, so the professor (who gigged with my Pop a lot) said "You - you're the trombone player", issued me a horn and a Rubank's book. End of semester conference the bone section was filled out with Clark Gault and George Roberts. Picked up a .547 a few years later to do orchestral stuff. Inherited a tuba and a Peck=horn from am uncle. Just... kept expanding the quiver of tools. And each horn in the array gets me more and different gigs. Play lead trumpet one day, bass bone the next, french horn with one band, dixie trombone with another. It's really not that difficult, though sometimes limiting when contractors only think of me as one thing.
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by SGlong » Sat May 23, 2020 12:43 pm

In the 5th grade, I wanted to join the band, so my father bought a coronet for $5 at a pawn shop that needed work. He re-sweat soldered pretty much the whole thing, ruining the tone of the horn. Played it for two years till high school where I switched to the Baritone in concert band. (not good enough for the jazz band). In my junior year, I picked up and learned the tenor trombone and joined the jazz band which was in desperate need of trombones. That next year in 1970 we won the Reno Jazz Festival for our division. In College, I played the 2nd chair with my Conn 6h and subbed in the Mike Vax Band and the Don Peistrup Band. Becoming a Chef teaching at Le Cordon Bleu and owning a restaurant interfered with playing, so I gave it up for the next 40 years till I retired to Washington State where I picked it up again this time on my 1962 King 3B Silversonic (which I'm about to list for sale). I joined a local Big Band, but there were too many tenor players and the Bass Trombonist left to go back to school and teach, so I bought a Bach 50AF3 and switched to the Bass. Besides that band, I'm playing the 3rd chair in a concert band and 6th chair (2nd bass) in a jazz trombone ensemble I started in 2018. FUN TIMES!
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by Fruitysloth » Sat May 23, 2020 5:05 pm

Started on Baritone/Euph, switched to trombone in high school to do jazz band. Through my time at the university, many of the trombone majors switched around in different bands. For example, I played solo chair in the top big band, principal in the orchestra, and bass bone in the wind band. Our professor would also have us switch in trombone choir, sometimes playing a mix of parts. As we progressed, a close friend and also trombonist switched full-time to bass, so I ended up primarily on tenor. I love playing bass, but she CRUSHES it. We both play in our university's Tuba-Euphonium ensemble, her on Euph, me on Tuba. I want to pick up a bass at some point for messing around. Right now I play mostly tenor, subbing with a couple local symphonies, playing musicals for our children's theatre, and playing and recording in a couple local bands as well.
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Cotboneman
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by Cotboneman » Sat May 23, 2020 5:34 pm

Like most school trombonists, I started on tenor trombone, after playing trumpet and baritone horn in middle school. I didn't play any bass through high school, but started playing it as an undergraduate at DePaul University as a music education major. I didn't purchase one until graduate school there, when I bought a 42B and 50B simultaneously to support my playing in various college ensembles.

After graduating, I moved to Arizona, where I resumed my teaching career (I taught in Chicago between undergraduate and graduate school) and began playing in local community symphonies, brass band and concert bands. Most of the calls were for bass trombone, so I more or less became a full time bass trombone player, though I still practiced on a small bore Getzen I'd picked up and the large bore Bach. By then I'd sold the 50B, and replaced it with a dependent Getzen Eterna, which I still have and use daily. Later I also sold the 42B; truthfully both of the 80's Bachs I owned had fit and finish issues, noisy rotors and poor lacquer work. I hear they have improved since then and I certainly hope so.

Since retiring from teaching high school and middle school band in 2018 I have had many more playing opportunities come my way, including two good community symphony orchestras, where I still play bass trombone, plus a concert band, where I play on my relatively new large bore tenor, a JP/Rath. I am also playing in a trombone trio and two quartet on a regular basis, and I usually rotate all four trombones that I own in these ensembles.

From time to time I am also called upon to play trumpet as well; while I am no virtuoso, I can hold my own as a second trumpet in a brass quintet. I've always loved doubling and have a little skill in that area that I don't mind sharing with local groups. It's fun.
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braymond21
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by braymond21 » Mon May 25, 2020 3:34 am

I started off on saxophone for about 5 years before being introduced to trombone my senior year of high school. We were doing Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella and there were no saxophone spots, and the one trombonist in the band didn't want to play in the pit, so that left a spot open for me. It was a real trial-by-fire but it gave me the intro to trombone that would help me later on. When I got to college, there weren't any saxophone spots open in the pep band so I ended up on mellophone after a mixup with my audition video. After auditioning for the wind ensemble on bass trombone because I love playing low notes, I was able to switch to bass for pep band and jazz band. Being able to play in every ensemble was also a trial-by-fire scenario but I got better very fast. I've been playing bass ever since and love it. I also play tenor every so often and practice tuba as a double. Hopefully I can keep improving and continuing to play for the rest of my life.
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Vegastokc
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by Vegastokc » Mon May 25, 2020 6:45 am

deanmccarty wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 9:14 pm
...we saw the Toshiko Akiyoshi big band...
Oh man, I love that band. Still have "Tuning Up" I recorded on cassette off the radio that I called in as a request. In mono of course. :lol:
Think I was in about 7th grade.
Waiting with anticipation with recorder on pause until the Dj announced it. Ah, "the good ol' days". Now I can just get it instantaneously from a dozen apps all in stereo.
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by ericcheng2005 » Mon May 25, 2020 4:43 pm

I started on tenor trombone way back in 4th grade on some Etude-brand TSO (didn’t know any better lol). After going through another trombone, and actually just getting my T396 a couple days ago, I’m now entering 9th grade!
Principal Trombone, Youth Philharmonic Orchestra of North Carolina

Edwards T396-A "Alessi"- Bach 5GB
Conn TB711F- Bach 5GB
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TheBoneRanger
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by TheBoneRanger » Mon May 25, 2020 5:29 pm

I played bass at university. Bought a cheap 42 to play for the occasional Mozart Requiem etc, where the 1st player was playing alto.

One day someone called and said "Hey man, do you play tenor? I've got a cash gig that I need someone for!"

Hmm, guess I better figure out how to play this thing!!

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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by timbone » Tue May 26, 2020 9:28 am

Pretty simple question. Do you want the phone to ring for work? Don’t allow yourself to be stereotyped. Play every horn and style. Guys that call themselves “bass trombonists or jazz trombonists” are limiting themselves in growth and ability to work, but if that’s what they want, fine. If you are a good player with a good sound, people will seek you out. Put some tools in your toolbox!
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Re: Do you play bass or tenor? Double? And why?

Post by jonzbonz » Sun May 31, 2020 10:56 am

Currently I play tenor bass and soprano trombone, euphonium, trumpet and flugelhorn. I also played tuba some in past years. I enjoy switching between the instruments as well as get more varied playing opportunities.
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